11 Oct

Most of us want to be good friends and good partners.  We want to be reliable and helpful, and we want those around us to know we’ll be there if they need us.  Building good relationships depends on how we keep our word and follow through.  If we say we’ll be there, we need to show up.  If we don’t, our credibility becomes doubtful.  If this becomes a pattern, we will damage the relationship, and in the end we may lose it altogether.  There is an old saying that the proof is in the pudding.  It means even if someone tells us the pudding is good, we have to taste it for ourselves to find out.  With us, it means what we do proves who we really are.  If we say we’re going to be there for those close to us and aren’t, there is no proof that we will follow through.  There is no proof that we’re reliable and can be counted on.  And if we aren’t honest about that, it casts doubt on everything else we say.

There are some people who say things they don’t mean, and make promises they don’t intend to keep.  Sometimes it’s because they aren’t trustworthy.  Sometimes it’s because they don’t care, and sometimes it’s because they’re irresponsible.  The reasons really don’t matter.  If they give us their word and then don’t follow through, we learn they can’t be trusted.  And trust is imperative in any relationship.  Without it, there is little hope it can continue.  Since we can’t know the future, if someone gives us their word on something, we rely on it and believe them.  If they don’t follow through, the next time they give their word will have less credibility.  We may try to trust them again, but if they let us down repeatedly, it’s impossible to go forward.

When those we love continually break their promises, offering constant excuses, our feelings for them will be affected.  It hurts to be let down again and again, and it makes us feel unimportant.  But we are important and we need to feel that way in our close relationships.  If we keep getting hurt, if they keep breaking their word, we may learn to distance ourselves so we can be protected from additional pain.  If we’re the ones who don’t follow through, and keep breaking our word, we may lose.  Close relationships take time to build.  Letting them falter because we can’t be dependable is heartbreaking.  We need to pay attention.  If we say we’ll be there, we need to be there.

Today, do everything you can to follow through on what you’ve said.  Be dependable, and let those close to you know they can rely on you.  If you’ve been hurt from someone else breaking their word again and again, think about the situation objectively and determine the best course for you going forward.  You are important, and you are valuable.  Make your decisions based on that, and remember you are worth the very best of everything.

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